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November - December 2006

Sandi Patty - Gay Icon?
Gay newspaper Washington Blade carries a lengthy report of Sandi Patty's Christmas concert on Saturday night with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and includes a considerable amount of discussion on whether she is a gay icon. Some excerpts:

One of the curious little things that nobody ever talks about when it comes to Sandi Patty is her considerable throng of gay fans.

...The fascination for gay men with Patty is probably nothing more than the same kind of thing that makes gay men who love dance music flock to Kylie Minogue or makes opera queens lap up anything by Renee Fleming — there's something that's hard to put a finger on about strong, powerful, talented, successful alpha females that appeals to gay men. Patty just happens to be the quintessential CCM version of that.

Who knows what Patty's own religious convictions are on gays? To my knowledge, she's never spoken publicly on such matters and if her feelings aren't as gay-friendly as I'd like to hope they might be, then she's smart to keep her mouth shut.

...Seeing the gays at a Sandi Patty concert is always a bit surreal, but increasingly less unexpected. Patty crowds are full of the usual types you'd imagine — Saturday night's show at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall had a healthy dose of folks you just knew were going to be in church the next morning. But the gays are always there, too. It's so refreshing. Sandi Patty concerts provide that rare place where evangelical fundamentalists and gays can join together in a peaceful setting where it's not about demonizing each other or political debate — we're all just there, grateful to be in the presence of such talent.

December 20th, 2006


Guess the Curly-Headed, Angelic-Voiced, High-Energy Singer
See if you can guess which popular Southern Gospel singer (former Southern Gospel singer?) the Huntington Herald-Dispatch is writing about:

P., the curly-headed former [deleted] member, is rightfully wearing a little path to the gorgeous theater.

Monday's concert is the third visit to the Paramount for the angelic-voiced tenor who is a whole lot gospel, a whole lot pop and a little bit rock and roll.

P. brings his high-energy act to the Paramount at 7 p.m. Monday and entertains with a little help from his friends, Christian comedian Daren Streblow and Anthem Avenue, a new vocal trio from Nashville. Tickets are $20 and $25.

..."It is one of our favorite places to go on our tours," said P. in a phone interview from his home in Nashville. "We always have a good turnout, and we always look forward to it."
December 11th, 2006


Guy Penrod - Public Speaker
What do you do when you turn up at a singing engagement with a bad case of laryngitis? If you're Guy Penrod - standing in for Gloria Gaither at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Missouri - you give a speech instead. Read all about it.
December 7th, 2006


David Phelps talks to the Shreveport Times:

Phelps is best known for his time as a member of the Gaither Vocal Band. Joining the band in 1997, he has been featured on more than 30 projects with the group.

"Being a member of the vocal band was an easier job. You just get up on stage and do what you are supposed to do," Phelps said. "When you get on stage as a soloist you are in charge of everything. It's a lot more work but it's also more gratifying."

December 1st, 2006


Lightning-Quick Runs and Flowery Arpeggios
Great feature on the late Wally Varner, formerly pianist with the Blackwood Brothers Quartet:

As a pianist, Varner played with flair and command, spicing up the simple melodies of gospel songs with lightning-quick runs and flowery arpeggios. In solo albums released in his later years, Varner showed himself familiar with a wide variety of musical styles, playing gospel songs with honky-tonk, blues, Latin and jazz inflections.

"Anthony Burger once said that when it was Wally's turn to play, he owned that end of the stage," [Polly Varner] said. "It was a gift. He could just do it."

November 20th, 2006


Stick with the Lower Register
The Grand Rapids Press interviews Lynda Randle:

"When I started singing, I tried to emulate Sandi Patty -- go figure," Randle said of the high-soprano, inspirational artist. "But the principal at my school told me to stick with the lower register -- that would be my ticket. And now that I'm doing it ... he was exactly right."

Read too her comments on being "something of an anomaly -- one of just a handful of black artists in Southern gospel music, a genre with comparatively few minority fans."
November 17th, 2006


Will Their Heart Fly Our Of Their Back?
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer writes about Mark Lowry's recent health problems:

While on his back, recuperating, Lowry had a lot of time to think. Morphine probably helped. For instance, after signing some papers to receive bones from cadavers, he wondered if the bones came from Christians; and that if someone else receives, say, a heart of a non-Christian, "Will their heart fly out of their back when the Rapture comes?"
November 13th, 2006


Gaither Homecoming Ticketmonster
A columnist writes in the Kansas City Star, under the headline "Ticketmonster?":

I recently purchased four tickets online for the Bill Gaither Homecoming concert. The only way to get the tickets was through Ticketmaster. I was appalled at how much they cost — not the tickets themselves but the add-ons. Actual price for the four was $74, but my credit card was charged $111.90. On each ticket purchased, there was a facility charge of $1 and a convenience (whose convenience?) charge of $7.70. Finally, there was the “order processing fee” of $3.10.

I believe people are being taken advantage of. There is no other way I know of to buy tickets to many local events. I think we need an alternative to Ticketmaster.

November 13th, 2006


Thank You Avery Fineline
The completion of my major writing work means I've been able to read the Southern Gospel blogs, for the first time in months. I've been especially impressed with Daniel Mount's new blog. And Avery Fineline has some great posts, notably one on women in Southern Gospel. He also kindly congratulated me on my latest book (I churn them out - books on finance and investment). Over the past few days I've sent half-a-dozen emails to Avery to thank him. They've all come back, undeliverable, due to a full mailbox. So, thank you.

Oh, and when I said (below) that Me Blog SG has gone, I should have noted that it has been replaced by Southern Gospel Perspective.
November 3rd, 2006


A major writing assignment is at last out of the way and I am in the process of cleaning up this website, for the first time since I launched it in July 2005. First off all, I'm checking all the blogs in my Blogs & Boards page, and removing those that are clearly defunct and/or haven't been updated in quite a while.

So, gone are Bonnie's Blog (the blog still exists, but doesn't seem to be written by Bonnie Keen any more), Channing's Journal, Crabb Family Blog, CrossWay Blog, Davy's Blog, Dr. Betsy Blog, Dunnyville Blog, Eddie's View Point, John's Jottings, Justin Endicott Ministries, Me Blog SG, Off the Shelf, SGM Blog, SGM News, Simon Cowell of SG Music, Southern Gospel Commentary and Thumbs Up.

Now to find some replacements.
October 27th, 2006




The Personal Health Monitor Blog, High-Definition DVD Update, Siamese Fighting Fish Pictures, Cat Allergies, Bird Flu Update, Cuisinart Beat, Massage Chairs, Tupperware Beat, Shaverama, Praise and Worship Beat


Allen Asbury
Mark Bishop
Booth Brothers
Mike Bowling
Anthony Burger
Cynthia Clawson
Crabb Family
Jessy Dixon
Dove Brothers
Ann Downing
Jeff & Sheri Easter
Gaither Homecoming
Gaither Vocal Band
Gatlin Brothers
Gold City Quartet
Greater Vision
Buddy Greene
Legacy Five
Mark Lowry
Babbie Mason
Mercy's Mark
Oak Ridge Boys
Palmetto State
Ivan Parker
Janet Paschal
Sandi Patty
Karen Peck
David Phelps
Chonda Pierce
Dottie Rambo
Lynda Randle
Signature Sound
Russ Taff
Talley Trio
Randy Travis